Thursday, 6 December 2012

A surprising comment about lung cancer...


From a doctor too:

Nearly 80% of people diagnosed with lung cancer now, in 2012, are non-smokers. All of the anti-smoking campaigns imaginable are not going to make a difference for this 80%.

Maybe a few numbers will make it even clearer. In 2008, the last year from which we have numbers available, there were 158,592 deaths from lung cancer in the United States, including 70,051 deaths in women. (Note that in the same year, there were 40,589 breast cancer deaths in women.) Using the 80% statistic, 126,874 of these deaths could not have been prevented by anti-smoking campaigns.

Perhaps we need to start looking at how we diagnose earlier and treat better rather than incanting the magic words "stop smoking, stop smoking"?

Update: It isn't. of course, quite that simple - here's a little challenge to the good doctor's argument (lifted from the comments below)


Superlucent said...

Hi Simon,

This comment is incorrect:

Read for a revised view of the "80% of lung cancer cases are non-smokers"


Guy (smoker and happy to do so)

Kin_Free said...

No superlucent, this comment IS correct.

Siegel is incorrect - obfuscating
Read the comments there.

Anonymous said...

Oscar Niemeyer, the noted modernist architect from Brazil who died this week, could usually be seen in newsreel clips dragging enthusiastically on his favourite cigars.
He died just a few days short of his 105th birthday.
Way to go, Oscar !